"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has" Margeret Mead
Here at the Network of Wellbeing (NOW) we hope to help promote the importance of wellbeing locally in Totnes, nationally in the UK, and internationally across different parts of the world. To help with our wider global outreach we have the support of some wonderful volunteers who have chosen to become Wellbeing Ambassadors.
Being a Wellbeing Ambassador involves finding ways to make a positive difference to the quality of life experienced in your own community and beyond, with active support from the wider NOW network. This can involve many different actions, large or small, which help to promote wellbeing; for example, hosting an event or meal to share ideas about wellbeing with others, distributing accessible resources on wellbeing, or sharing experiences of wellbeing through NOW’s blog and social media. You can check out previous blog posts contributed by Wellbeing Ambassadors here.
To find out more about some of our current Wellbeing Ambassadors check out their biographies below. If you are interested in becoming an Ambassador or would like to find out more please contact us.
Denise Curi (Brazil/ UK)
Denise is from São Paulo, Brazil, has a Ph.D in Science (with Chemistry as a major), and has worked as a post-doc fellow in three Universities. Following this she became a high school teacher and for 13 years taught Chemistry at Colégio Bandeirantes in São Paulo, where she was involved in many projects: Education for Sustainability, Sexuality and Prevention to Drug Use and Abuse, Introduction to Scientific Research etc. In 2012 Denise went to Schumacher College, where she took on the role of Senior Volunteer and was involved with everything that relates to volunteer’s life and work at the College until last July 2013. She also teaches Yoga, practices Flamenco, enjoys photography and loves to cook, to dance, to travel, and to meet new people, explore new cultures, and learn new ways of being and doing.
Juliana Essen (California, USA)
Juliana is an anthropologist, author, researcher, educator, wife and mother, nature-lover, and global citizen. After serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand, where the farmers taught her more than she taught them, Juliana went on to pursue a PhD in cultural anthropology to learn more about sustainable community development. Living in an intentional Buddhist community in Thailand while doing her dissertation research provided rich fodder for a book, subsequent research and publications in Buddhist economics, and profound reflections on life—her own and all that around her. Teaching at Soka University of America for the last decade (with two years as the Writing Program Director) has brought still more enriching experiences, both professionally and personally. With the birth of her daughter in 2009, Juliana set an intention to create the non-profit she’d always dreamed of: the Global Wellbeing Institute. Now, the sharing and learning about wellbeing continues. Connect with Juliana on twitter @globalwellinst.
Liz Harper (UK)
Liz writes a wellbeing blog, wellmeaningbeing.com. Here she engages with others by sharing her own experiences in self development and self care. During the time in which she's been writing her blog Liz became aware that her own wellbeing affects those around her, and she discovered that this means happy individuals can lead to a better community of people. This encouraged her to get involved with the Network of Wellbeing by becoming a Wellbeing Amassador. This will allow her to learn more about working with and encouraging those around her and those in the community to take care of themselves and their own wellbeing.
Laura Hickman (UK)
Laura Hickman trained at Staffordshire University, England; post-graduate level in Arts for Health & Wellbeing and Managing Participatory Creative Consultations. She is originally an artist and qualified primary teacher and educational resources writer, who changed career to develop, lead and manage Arts for Health and Wellbeing projects. Laura's clients have included the UK's National Health Service (NHS), schools, councils, support groups and hospices. Laura devises, delivers and evaluates bespoke projects within a range of settings working to agreed planned outcomes. She has successfully run participatory consultancy projects and presented outcomes creatively to reputable professionals and organisations. Working with all ages, abilities and cultures from preschool children to non-English speaking elderly Yemeni women, Laura has been able to deal with sensitive issues and is passionate and full of creative ideas to promote and explore health and wellbeing messages. Laura, together with her colleagues and fellow Wellbeing Ambassadors Kesia and Moira, have joined forces to form Creative Footprints CIC to offer unique, powerful projects to those who need them most.
Moira Mottram (UK)
Moira Mottram has a BA Hons Degree in Art, Design & Media from Portsmouth University. As a Director of her own company for over 10 years, she covers everything from branding and design through to promotional media - both off and on-line. Prior to this Moira worked in the creative departments of St, George's Hospital Medical School, London, amongst other NHS Trusts; where her collaborative work within the arts and medical professions evolved to produce many projects for the health sector.
Throughout more recent years she has taught vocational courses in Marketing & Art Design & Media to young people in Secondary & Higher Education and focused on community based projects in the re-branding of services on behalf of local organisations and councils. Moira, together with her colleagues and fellow Wellbeing Ambassadors, Kesia and Laura, have joined forces to form Creative Footprints CIC to offer unique, powerful projects to those who need them most.
Kesia Pennington-Yates (UK)
Kesia currently works as a ‘Arts for Health’ consultant and also as an Artist, as well as running her own Hypnotherapy-counselling practice. Kesia has studied in Counselling, Hypnotherapy, Art Therapy and gaining a BA Hons in Art. Covering teaching and assessment for differing organisations spanning across issues such as Sexuality, HIV and AIDS, Young Peoples service and Children in Care, Kesia also works with drug and alcohol addictions in bail hostels, prisons and communities. Kesia has written an accredited training course to teach students how to become drug/ alcohol workers and find them placements and supervising in vocational volunteering. She has also developed and delivered many Arts for Health projects in prisons, schools, communities and other settings. Kesia, together with her colleagues and fellow Wellbeing Ambassadors, Laura and Moira, have joined forces to form Creative Footprints CIC to seek funding to offer unique, powerful wellbeing projects to those who need them most.
Jesús Martín (Spain/ UK)
Jesús is a transdisciplinary researcher who is developing the concept “Responsible Wellbeing” focusing on one hand on personal wellbeing depending on particular basic needs and on the other hand on a community wellbeing involving people, ethics and environment. He started out in Engineering then decided to take a different direction, and completed a degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology and a Masters in Sustainability and CSR. The conclusion of his final Masters thesis in Sustainability “Construction of the foundations for a normative model based on the paradigm of Sustainability” argues that our society should focus mainly in “Responsible Wellbeing” and “Global Ethics” as leverage points in the complex problems of our Earth Planet and Society. You can connect with Jesús on Twitter via @ResWellbeing
Cheryl Rickman (UK)
Cheryl Rickman is an author/ghostwriter and"flourisher". Her practical books, workshops and e-courses empower people to enjoy and appreciate life more, boost well-being and resilience, pursue their purpose and reach their potential. Cheryl's latest book, The Flourish Handbook, is a practical guide on how to flourish and make the most of life; packed with worksheets, guidance, to-do lists and planners to help people find their forte, boost their positivity and bolster their resilience, mindfulness and gratitude. Drawing on extensive research and her own methods of coping with adversity and staying positive, The Flourish Handbook is based on the five pillars of well-being as coined by leading positive psychologists: positive emotion, engagement, supportive relationships, meaning, and achievement. Cheryl has founded four home-run businesses over the past 15 years. Her first book, The Small Business Start-Up Workbook, published in 2005, has a Foreword written by Dame Anita Roddick. Today, alongside writing books, Cheryl continues to run WiBBLE and Flourish. Follow Cheryl on Twitter @theflourishers. Learn more about flourishing and well-being here: http://www.FlourishHandbook.com
Anna Schmidt (Germany/ UK)
Anna is originally from Berlin, Germany. She recently successfully completed her Bachelors in Peace Studies and Development at the University of Bradford. Her studies inspired her to reflect more intensely on wellbeing, and in particular on the connection between Permaculture and wellbeing. She decided to become a Wellbeing Ambassador because she finds it a great way to share stories, which are relevant to our lives, and to connect with other people who are passionate about wellbeing. She also finds it a great way to practise a range of skills, which helped her to prepare for her newly gained role as Strategic Communications Coordinator at the Permaculture Association.
Tabata Marchetti Villares (Brazil)
Tabata feels she has found her true self in recent years, after having the opportunity to live in Findhorn and then move from there to an inspiring Masters program at Schumacher College. After that she has had many exciting opportunities to live in sustainable and resilient agricultural communities around the globe. Now she is deepening her awareness of the healing process, by exploring Astrology, Reiki, Yoga and Biopsycology. Tabata says, "I am as intense a person as a Scopio can get! I go deeply into the things I love, and for me I can only offer to others what I have experienced myself. I am excited to have the opportunity to be a Wellbeing Ambassador, and connect with others passionate about wellbeing."
Sam Willsea (USA/ UK)
After spending the last 7 years in the UK, Sam is now living in Great Barrington Massachusetts and working at the Schumacher Center for New Economics. He recently entered the field of wellbeing research after a background in sustainable development and alternative economics. His most recent work examines the impacts of wellbeing indexes as complementary measuring tools to traditional economic indicators like Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the potential for macro scale wellbeing indexes to be applied to local municipalities. You can connect with Sam on Twitter via @swillsea.